Our President Is Way Too Much Uninterested And Way Too Little Disinterested

The first part, i.e. “uninterested,” hardly needs elaboration: President Trump shows so little interest in learning the details that his tweets on Obamacare make little sense.  Could he explain to us what his beautiful Trumpcare would look like?  No.  He can threaten, but his threats have become self-contradictory.

Regarding the second part: Why would I accuse our 45th president of being way too little disinterested?  “Disinterested” means impartial; it means not having an axe to grind, not calculating to seek personal advantage.  Disinterestedness is thus good because a government of “laws, not men” (as they used to say) won’t work well at all without it.  The structure of the Constitution accounts for interests and factions and strives to control and limit them.  But if the executive acts like a thug, and the other branches don’t act decisively to repudiate the bad actors, we are in trouble.  I am not expecting the 71-year-old man to change or learn.  Actually truth be told I am worried that if he did learn any new tricks we would be in even more of a fix.

Note: I am interested in upholding the distinction between “disinterested” as unbiased and impartial, i.e. not moved by consideration of personal advantage, and “uninterested,” which means “not interested” or “unmoved.”  I realize that usages change, but maintaining the distinction with a difference serves a good purpose here.

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Good Or Bad?–That Trump Does Not Know We Are Not Yet Ruled By Personal Dictatorship

“How low has President Obama gone to tapp {sic} my phones during the very sacred election process,” tweeted the President today.  “Bad…sick…McCarthyism…is it legal” and so forth.

President Trump does not seem afraid to up the ante.  Is he ready for a discovery process involving an independent counsel with subpoena power?  (Yes the independent counsel law expired, but all things are possible–including presidential declassification of anything or everything involving Russian interference in the 2016 election.)

President Trump appears to think that presidents act by fiat, via personal dictatorship, not constrained by other independent and coequal branches of government.  Presidents do not themselves order wiretaps.  We have executive branch lawyers who seek warrants via judges–last I heard.

Does President Trump have a problem with McCarthyism?  If so, how exactly does he object to Senator Joe McCarthy’s playbook, which included guilt-by-association tactics and anonymously-sourced smears?  Does President Trump accuses President Obama of acting like “Nixon/Watergate” but does not elaborate or provide any evidence.  What exactly about Richard Nixon or Watergate does President Trump condemn?

Could President Trump have a point, in the midst of his unsupported allegations, that the United States has a problem with “deep state” subversion of our “very sacred election process”?  Maybe so–all the more reason to get going on a truly independent investigation.  A partisan, politicized, ostrich-like, paralyzed Congress does not seem up to the task.  Jeff Sessions’ deputy is unlikely to be credible and authoritative.  That leaves an independent counsel (possible downside that non-criminal but horrible actions could end up being bypassed) or an independent commission (typically very slow-moving).  Maybe there are other, better options.